A series of unfortunate (flying) events

I’ve boarded quite a lot of flights over the two years I have been in Turkey, more than I can count – actually I could but then I’d be horrified at my carbon footprints so I’d rather not (definitely more than 25 times only in 2015) – so it’s quite unexpected when I say I’ve had my fair share of unfortunate events in terms of delays and cancellations, some about which I still have nightmares. Different airlines have different conditions when it comes to cancellations and delays but what I’ve noticed is that they do tend to somewhat resemble each other although do check the conditions of the airlines you’re flying with just to be sure in case of a pinch.

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Funnily enough, my most recent Ryanair flight was quite trouble-free

For most, you tend to be eligible for a refund depending on the situation except for ‘extraordinary cases’ which seems to cover everything from bad weather conditions to strikes to air traffic restrictions, and of course, which seem to usually be the most common causes for delays and cancellations other than overbooking – you’re fucked basically. You’re however entitled to food and beverages for the waiting time, accommodation in a hotel if necessary and compensation if you’ve waited for 2 hours or more (again, airline-specific). Doesn’t make it any better especially if you’ve got a meeting schedule for the next day, or in my case, a day planned at London Zoo to meet some old friends (human and non-human). It has however gotten me into the habit to always check the status of any scheduled flight a few days before flying, which in my opinion is one of the most important things when flying. Also make sure that the airline has a contact number and/or email where you can be reached in case of an emergency. Most of the time, communication will be in the form of a text message or email, or both.

From: Ankara

To: London, via Istanbul

Airline: Pegasus Airlines

What happened: An attempted hijack of a plane to bomb the Winter Olympics 2014 in Sochi, leading to the closing of the whole Istanbul Air Space.

What I learned: Always keep a clean pair of underwear in your handbag, just in case. Continue reading A series of unfortunate (flying) events

10 reasons to visit Turkey in 2016

I’ve had my share of woes in Turkey, especially when it comes to bureaucracy but I have to say that that I consider myself quite lucky to have been able to experience it as an almost-local. As I take on possibly my last year here (time FLIES), it’s a good time as any other to already start making a list of reason why I should come back after leaving (IF I leave). With Turkish Airlines now serving the Istanbul-Mauritius-Antananarivo route three times a week (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday) and possibly an additional flight on Mondays as from the 8th of February 2016 it is still quite fair to assume that many Mauritians would soon be making their way towards Turkey in the near future – not that they haven’t been doing so for the past years (from what I know anyway).

So without further ado, here are my 10 reasons for you to visit Turkey this year.

1. Istanbul would be reason enough

The Blue Mosque – the face of Istanbul
The only city spanning two continents, Istanbul is definitely one of the most beautiful and vibrant cities I have ever visited (although I wouldn’t want to live there, the traffic is truly horrendous). With over 2500 years of history, culture and traditions, it is a city with beautiful and certainly famous landmarks representing worth of the capital that served four different empires.

From a corner in the Hagia Sophia
2. But then, you’d miss the other historical and archeological gems Turkey offers

Ephesus: The library of Celsus
Continue reading 10 reasons to visit Turkey in 2016

Leaving the nest: Noorie relates


Heidelberg Half Marathon 2014

Noorie currently lives in Heidelberg, Germany, doing her doctorate focusing on stem cell biology at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), which I got to see when I was visiting her in Heidelberg. She’s definitely one of the people I admire the most and one of my dearest friends. She shares her experiences with us, as part of the Leaving the Nest series.


So, tell us a bit more about yourself? What have been up to since you left college?

I went to study at the University of Birmingham for four years, got a Masters in Biochemistry. Then I embarked onto my PhD in stem cell biology at the EMBL in Heidelberg, Germany.

What led you to study this particular subject?

I have always been fascinated by the natural sciences in general. The ultimate decision to study biochemistry was thanks to the scholarship that the UoB offered me to cover my tuition fees for the duration of my degree. Continue reading Leaving the nest: Noorie relates

From a tiny island into the world, head first.